Clare Boothe Luce Speech Analysis

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American journalist and politician, Clare Boothe Luce, in her opening speech at the 1960 Women’s National Press Club meeting, prepares her audience, qualifying and defending her forthcoming criticism. Luce’s purpose is to provoke thought in the journalist’s minds on what journalism is really about at its core. She adopts a frank and humorous tone to best capture the attention of her intended audience of female journalists. Through, appealing to the ethos, logos, and pathos with flattery, syllogism, and rhetorical questioning to prepare the audience for her message: “the tendency of the American press to sacrifice journalistic integrity in favor of the perceived public demand for sensationalist stories.” In the first paragraph of her speech, Luce assures the audience that “[she is] happy and flattered to be a guest of honor…” This explains her genuinity and the caring nature behind the criticism to follow. This is done while also building up her personal ethos, saying that she is the guest of honor and was asked to be there gives her a sense of authority which enhances her credibility in the eyes of the audience. Her…show more content…
Luce is not denigrating, but supporting the journalists in order to prevent them from becoming too defensive. Additionally, she states in the following sentence that she is putting forth an effort to tell the truth in her speech and “begin[s] by saying that if there is much...wrong with the American Press, there is also much right with it.” The counterargument is introduced here, explaining that the American Press is not only bad, but also has good qualities, which may ameliorate the faults she adverts to and the improvements she
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